What is the meaning behind Bohemian Rhapsody?

Well, there’s a new movie entitled “Bohemian Rhapsody” based on the story of Freddie Mercury. But

But this is not about the movie, but it’s about the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” which I find to be interesting.

Here’s the lyric:

[Intro]
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me

[Verse 1]
Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh, didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

[Verse 2]
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine, body’s aching all the time
Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooh, (Any way the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all

[Verse 3]
I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me
(Galileo.) Galileo. (Galileo.) Galileo. Galileo Figaro magnifico
I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
(Oh mamma mia, mamma mia) Mamma mia, let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me!

[Verse 4]
So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby!
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!

[Outro]
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows

So, what does the lyrics mean?

On the face of it, the song was a bit confusing, but when I think about it, it’s a terrific story telling. Just read the comics below, you’ll see my point.

Source: Pinterest

Freddie Mercury never explained the lyrics but rather declared vaguely that they were ‘just about relationship’ with ‘a bit of nonsense in the middle’.

Okay, the most transparent interpretation can be that of a boy pleading in front of an unsympathetic jury after murdering a man. The jury may be a religious group, as pointed by the word “Bismillah“, which is a familiar words to Muslim, which of course intrigue me the most. Why ‘Bismillah‘? Maybe it was due to the fact that Freddie belonged to a Zoroastrian family. Though, there’s a voice in the song which does indeed show a little sympathy for the boy every now and then.

He’s just a poor boy from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity.

Then, the lyrics progress through the central character’s understanding of the situation.

Look at the first verse, CONFUSION

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?

Then come the NONCHALANCE

Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low
Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Then, the character come to a REALIZATION

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he’s dead

Which lead to his REGRETS

Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away

On his TRIAL

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very fright’ning me

which his PLEA

I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?

then, come his JUDGEMENT

Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Then, come a point where the character reacts in ANGER,

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby, can’t do this to me, baby!
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here!

And finally, RESIGNATION of the character to his perils

Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows

And that is a great story telling in the form of a song.

Some might suggest that Freddie Mercury put a lot of his personal emotional struggles and life experience into the song, but regardless that’s not something that I want to delve in.

It’s a great story telling skills by Freddie Mercury.

It’s a skill worth studying.

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Categories: Current Issue, Personal Development

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